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Old 09-15-2016, 03:46 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Bill_75 View Post
Southeast Toyota region ordered Toyotas only came with the under bumper hitch.
Our 2015 Highlander had the factory tow hitch through the bumper and 4 pin trailer plug which made changing over to a 7 pin easier. They are harder to find but they are out there.
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Old 09-15-2016, 04:29 PM   #22
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This thread caught my eye, and I thought I'd give you another option which might be less expensive .
We just returned from our maiden trip from Chilliwack with our new 19'.
My DH was also concerned about our tow vehicle, especially if we had to purchase another. I already had a 2010 Chevy traverse with the tow package. So, it's rated for up to 5200 pounds.
You can Google comparisons between the SUV's you've listed, along with the Traverse, and compare everything from cargo size to HP, to torque, to power ratios, etc. I just took a look at cars.axlegeeks.com, and was pleasantly surprised with the Chevy's attributes as compared to some Toyotas and Hondas.

So, we just got back from a 2300 mile trip across mountains, valleys, some with up to 10% grades. To our delight, (not to mention relief concerning our pocketbook), the Chevy towed admirably and effortlessly up and down the mountains of Washington, Montana and Idaho without any problems or concerns. In fact, I think we could have even handled the weight of a 21-foot, but I just wouldn't feel comfortable or confident doing that as a newbie.

Just to mention, we had the trailer tanks all about a third to a half full, most of the cabinets filled with kitchen or clothing items, as well as three suitcases and some boxes in our SUV ( crossover ).
I can't recall the exact price we paid, but know it was well under dealer invoice. I'm a good haggler, and also made the purchase at the end of the month in December, which gave the salesman more incentive to accept my lower price offer.
So, I just wanted to share our experience since we also are learning ourselves, and the question of a tow vehicle was foremost on our minds over the past week of travel !
Good luck with your decision and your forthcoming Escape. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have so far!
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Old 09-16-2016, 11:36 AM   #23
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I understand the point, but most Toyotas and many Hondas now have V6 engines and 6-speed (or more) transmissions; Lexus (which is Toyota) introduced the first 8-speed automatic (from any manufacturer) over a decade ago. Toyota does tend to be conservative and it attracts many practical buyers, but that doesn't mean that their products are all simplistic or outdated.

My Ford Focus, with its unreliable charging system (not just the alternator, but a faulty wiring harness and defective status indication) and failed front suspension components, was a long-established design of no more electrical or front suspension
complexity than a Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic.

In passenger cars, the majority of models from the majority of manufacturers have no diesel engine option in North America. Even in full-size light pickup trucks, while Toyota does not offer a diesel, only Ram and Nissan (not Ford, not GM) offers one. In mid-size pickups, again Toyota does not offer a diesel, but only GM does - Nissan and Honda don't offer diesel, and Ford and Ram don't even sell that size of truck.
As always, good points Brian. I guess I'm just having a hard time believing these reliability studies. Consumer Reports asks readers to send a survey back. These are entirely readers of a magazine that rates products, which is a pretty unique subset of people. JD Powers surveys cover the first 90 days of ownership generally, and rely on people returning the survey voluntarily. As a former statistician and marketing research analyst I have a hard time with any survey that isn't a random sampling. People usually return surveys if they are either very happy or very unhappy.

I've owned 7 different Toyotas and Hondas since 1981. Sorry if I'm stepping on toes here because I know you guys all love them, but my experience has been that these were the most unreliable vehicles our family has owned except for a Mitsubishi Monero Sport that my son had. Blown transmissions, blown head gasket, oil leaks, water pumps, emissions issues, etc., etc. Our 2009 Yaris has had something like 5 safety recalls, and don't get me started on the A/C issues. My Volkswagen group cars (3 Audis and 2 VW's) have been much better, although the 3.0 supercharged A6 is delicate and eats brakes for breakfast so it is going back when the lease is done. My Ford truck was bulletproof (XL trim).

I guess the bottom line is that we are all ruled mostly by our past experiences. You will probably never buy another Ford, and I'll probably never buy another Toyota!
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Old 09-16-2016, 12:51 PM   #24
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I agree, both that some reliability surveys (particularly those from Consumer Reports) are pretty shaky statistically and logically, and that personal preferences are strongly driven by individual experiences.

Stepping back from both of these sources, I think it's worth noting that the vast majority of vehicles from every major manufacturer are amazingly reliable given their complexity, and highly capable compared to vehicles of the past. A buyer can just about throw a dart at a wall of every vehicle with sufficient rated towing and load capacity, and it will work.
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Old 09-16-2016, 03:31 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
I agree, both that some reliability surveys (particularly those from Consumer Reports) are pretty shaky statistically and logically, and that personal preferences are strongly driven by individual experiences.

Stepping back from both of these sources, I think it's worth noting that the vast majority of vehicles from every major manufacturer are amazingly reliable given their complexity, and highly capable compared to vehicles of the past. A buyer can just about throw a dart at a wall of every vehicle with sufficient rated towing and load capacity, and it will work.
I am pretty sure I wont change your mind,



but for anyone else reading this forum...

I would disagree with you, based on being a Consumer Reports reader for basically most of my life.....

If you dont think 3/4 of a MILLION people surveyed in their most recent test is shakey statistically, we'll just agree to disagree.

Anyone can read more here:

CU auto testing

reliability:

and I quote

"The latest large-scale survey collected detailed data on more than 740,000 vehicles, giving us a solid source for chronicling past reliability and predicting future performance."

Guide to Car Reliability | Owner Satisfaction - Consumer Reports

and testing new cars:

How Consumer Reports Tests Cars - Consumer Reports

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Old 09-16-2016, 04:25 PM   #26
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I am pretty sure I wont change your mind,
If you dont think 3/4 of a MILLION people surveyed in their most recent test is shakey statistically, we'll just agree to disagree.
I think every survey should be taken with a grain of salt. There was a great article in the Globe and Mail last year talking about the challenges facing survey companies and pollsters. Their election predictions have been out to lunch lately and it is due to difficulties in finding reliable data sources. Back in the age of landline telephones they found that people would answer and gladly participate in surveys. Now they struggle to find ways to connect with certain demographics of the population such as people with only a mobile phone and who screen calls using call display. People are also less willing to participate and they are finding they have to offer incentives (SBUX gift cards, etc) and this is skewing the results.

Survey says: The future of polling is hard to*predict - The Globe and Mail

I would guess that the reader surveys face similar challenges. If I was one of the people suffering through say multiple transmission failures in a single year that have plagued some vehicles recently than I would definitely respond. If I was happy with my vehicle and didn't have any problems than I may not be as motivated to respond. This would skew the results.
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Old 09-16-2016, 05:35 PM   #27
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We won't get our 19 until next year but we just bought our tow vehicle.
I searched a bunch of sites like autotrader and cars.com looking for older, but still new cars. Some models have 2017 versions out now, so dealers were more willing to deal on past years.
I was looking nationwide and prepared to travel a a bit for a good deal, but found something 2 hours away. We just purchased a still new on the lot 2015 Grand Cherokee.
The best deal I could find locally was through Costco, it was below invoice plus some Chrysler and dealer money. We were looking at a 2016 Limited with the tow package and a V6 gas engine, but paid about $1000.00 less for a 2015 with the same options and a diesel ($4,500.00 option). All in all a little over $9,000.00 off the sticker.
I'm sure the dealer still made money on the sale, but for once I think we got a decent deal.

On paper it's overkill, but I can't tell you for sure how it tows yet.
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Old 09-16-2016, 05:59 PM   #28
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There are so many ways a dealer can make a profit on a car sale. Having examined the books of over 100 car dealers during my careen I came away amazed at the various kickbacks and accounting tricks to make a profit. Selling at low sticker price means very little, even selling below actual dealer cost means nothing as at the end of the month and at the end of the year, manufacturers will provide kickbacks to dealers to alleviate most shortages. The manufacturer is where money is being made.
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Old 09-16-2016, 06:05 PM   #29
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Ah oh, Consumer Report discussion! Last time I stuck up for Consumer Report around here I was roasted....

But I emerged mostly unscathed and still rely on CR, as I have for decades...
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Old 09-16-2016, 06:07 PM   #30
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It is a good starting place....
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